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Roman Catholic receiving communion at Orthodox Church?


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#41 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:02 PM

Dear friends,

Christ is risen!

Look how quickly this conversation turned from a question of Roman Catholics receiving the Eucharist in an Orthodox Church, to a general mix-and-mash of questions on East and West, Catholicism and Orthodoxy, etc.! See how the temptations rise!

Let us follow Fr David's advice and set these things aside. This is not the place for them.

INXC, Hieromonk Irenei

#42 Kosta

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 12:40 AM

As everyone agrees before 1054 there was no "Catholic" and "Orthodox" Church but there was one unified Church of God. So the best way to understand which of the two Churches that emerge after 1054 had a more valid claim to "Orthodoxy" is to see which of these Churches' spiritual leaders (Bishops and Patriarchs) were free from Heresy before 1054.

I think even today's Orthodox will agree that the Patriarchs of the Church of Constantinople were quite often heretics: Eusebius (339), Macedonius (360), and Demophilus (370) were Arians; Nestorius (478) was Nestorian; Timothy I (511), Anthimius (535), Sergius I (610), Pyrrhus (639) and Paul II (641) were Monothelites. All the (nine) Patriarchs of the Church of Antioch during 328-359 were Arians. A number of heretics were Patriarchs of the Church of Alexandria as well. The only major Church that never had a heretic as a Bishop (in the early unified Church) was the Church of Rome. Only Rome has always remained faithful to the original deposit of faith given to the apostles (and for the years prior to 1054 this is not disputed by today's Orthodox either)

In the days of the unified Church the only way for the Christian to now that his doctrine was Orthodox was to remain in agreement with the See of Rome. Take the years 512-518 for example. Every bishopric succession except Rome had been overtaken by heresy. Why? Jesus made a promise to Peter and He can be counted on to keep it.
It is illogical to claim that the see of Rome that had never been subject to heresy before 1054, somehow became un-Orthodox after it split from the Church of Constantinople, a Church that quite often was led by heretics and that was subject to the whims of the secular Eastern Emperors


Youve been reading to much papist propaganda. First off Hippolytus who is a saint and doctor of the western church was the first to set himself up as an anti-pope because Popes Zephrynus and Calixtus were sabellianists. St. Hippolytus schismed and set himself up as true pope for nearly a 10 year period.
Pope Vigilius made what roman theologians today refer to as an 'ex-cathedra" statement in support of the 3 chapters controvery at the 5th ecumenical council. The council condemned Pope Vigilius and his name was dropped from the diptychs. Repenting a few months later, his epistle which still exists says he's sorry for erring and that the devil lead him astray.

Pope Honorius was condemned as a heretic along with other bishops for preaching the monothelete heresy. The 7th ecumenical council reaffirmed the condemnation of Honorius as a heretic. Until the 11 th century all new popes had to swear the papal oath listing Honorius as one condemned as a heretic in actuality. The roman breviary for the office of Pope Leo III listed Honorius as a condemned heretic till the 16th century. It was after the 16th century that the church of Rome began trying to find ways out of this embarassment and falsely trying to rehabilitate his memory.

Dyring the monothelete heresy only one man defended the right faith from false teaching. That man was St Sophronios of Jerusalm. After being enthroned as Patriarch he sent an epistle to Pope Honorius and the other eastern patriarchs attacking monotheletism unfortunately to dead ears. Post-humously he was declared champon of the Faith while the others anathemized as heretics by the 6th ecumenial council.

By the 9th century, Rome began introducing one innovation after another, were influenced by forgeries such as the false decretals of Isidore and the heretical concepts of the Franks till they withered and finally fell away.

Which see has by and far defended the purity of the faith down to today against all others? The one given the title 'Mother of all the churches" and that is the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.Anyone can research this and come to bthe same conclusion.

#43 Angelos

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:46 AM

Dear Kosta,

You stated "Youve been reading to much papist propaganda" and yet you did not deny any of the facts I posted regarding the heretic Patriarchs of the East. I guess the "papist propaganda" is factually correct.

Second, your "facts" are disputed by wikipedia (not exactly a papist source) and from every Catholic source I know. As per Wikipedia "Hippolytus and Tertullian were especially upset by the pope's admitting to communion those who had done public penance for murder, adultery, and fornication, as well as by his alleged belief in Sabellianism, from which he attempted to distance himself". Also per Wikipedia "Hippolytus charged Zephyrinus with laxity in enforcing discipline and failure to assert his authority sufficiently in repressing the heresies (especially Sabellianism) then prevalent in Rome. So neither of them was a sabellianist and both had to function during persecutions by the Roman Emperors.

What is worse your post totally misrepresents what happened with Pope Vigilius. Again as per Wikipedia "Owing to the pressure exerted by the Byzantine commander, Vigilius was elected pope in place of Silverius and was consecrated and enthroned on March 29, 537...Empress Theodora (a heretic Monopphysite who pushed for Vigilius to be elected hoping that he would support her heresy), however, saw that she had been deceived. For after Vigilius had attained the object of his ambition and been made pope he maintained the same position as his predecessor against the Monophysites and the deposed Anthimus. It is true that there is an alleged letter from the pope to the deposed Monophysite patriarchs, Anthimus, Severus, and Theodosius, in which the pope agrees with the views of the Monophysites. This letter, however, is not regarded as genuine by most investigators and bears all the marks of forgery.The pope did not restore Anthimus to his office. It was not until the year 540 that Vigilius felt himself obliged to take a stand in regard to Monophysitism which he did in two letters sent to Constantinople. One of the letters is addressed to Emperor Justinian, the other to the Patriarch Menas. In both letters the pope supports positively the Synods of Ephesus and Chalcedon, also the decisions of his predecessor Pope Leo I, and throughout approves of the deposition of the Patriarch Anthimus. So Kosta, Vigilius erred before he became a Pope, as soon as he became a Pope he took a stand against the heresy. Jesus does not let Popes err in matters of dogma and this is further proof

From all your examples the only one with some legitimacy is the one of Pope Honorius who did not fight the Monothelites.

Finally regarding the Patriarchate of Jerusalem,as per the official website of the Patriarchate (http://jerusalem-pat...storical_an.htm) "After her destruction by the Roman armies (in 135), Jerusalem was demoted to a small and insignificant large village, built on the ruins of her glorious past and her Bishopric was thus lacking in primacy and her early magnificence..The holy City as a small and insignificant large village was subject politically and administratively to Caesaria, seat of the ruler of Palestine. Also, the primacy and the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of all the Bishoprics of the Holy Lands were borne by the Metropolis of Caesaria" Kosta, Jerusalem lacked primacy and was not even recognized as Patriarchate before 451. Furthermore, after 614 it had to function under Persian and later under Muslim rule so it's role is overstated in your post.

Edited by Angelos, 11 April 2010 - 02:17 AM.


#44 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:17 AM

Dear friends,

Christ is risen!

Forgive me the unproductive lack of directness in my previous post. Discussions on the relationships of East and West, Orthodox and the Roman Catholics, etc., are inappropriate to this forum. They must stop.

If there is further discussion to be had productively on the question of Eucharistic reception, let it continue. The back-and-forth on the inter-church topic needs to cease immediately, please.

INXC, Fr Irenei

#45 Angelos

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:02 PM

Father,

Please accept my sincere apologies. You are right, this inter-church back and forth is unproductive and I'm guilty in being part of it

Angelos

#46 Michael Stickles

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:10 PM

In this, as in many discussions, understanding/interpretation of terms is important:

Is there scriptural support as to why the Orthodox Church refuse the Eucharist to Catholics who with good conscience want to receive it? I know the Catholic Church refuses to give it to Protestants who do not believe that they receive the body of Christ (but just bread) because Paul specifically stated, in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

"whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself."

So out of compassion the Catholic Church not wanting Protestants to inadvertently bring judgment on themselves refuses to give it to them...BUT Catholics do have the right worthy manner that Paul wants since they do believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. So what is the real reason that theOrthodox Church refuses the Sacrament of Eucharist to well meaning Catholics?? Is that based on Scripture or based on Politics?


There is one additional step in "discerning the Lord's body". The Church is the Body of Christ. The linkage between the Church and the Eucharist is reinforced in the Liturgy: "Holy things are for the holy"; "Thine own of Thine own, we offer unto Thee". The Body partakes of the Body, and the life of the Body is in the Blood (Lev. 17:11, 14; Deut 12:23).

So, the same Scripture, which to you indicates that Orthodox should allow Roman Catholics to partake of Communion with them, to us indicates we should not. It's all in the interpretation, influenced by the understanding of the Body, the Church, discernment, etc.

As I understand it, that is the understanding from which we say that the Eucharist communion must be preceded by unity of faith. We cannot rightly share one Body if we are not one Body.

In Christ,
Michael

#47 Angelos

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:48 AM

Michael, you posted "There is one additional step in "discerning the Lord's body". The Church is the Body of Christ. The linkage between the Church and the Eucharist is reinforced in the Liturgy "

Are you implying that the bread in the communion (Eucharist) is not trasformed only in the real body of our Lord Jesus but also it is transformed to some notion of the "Orthodox Church" (are there two transformations? - Is Christ even in the Eucharist at all according to this interpretation?).

Are you implying that in the Last Supper when Jesus said to His disciples "this is my body", He also meant to include the "Church"?? That doesn't make much sense, since if that was the case He would have said to the Apostles "This is my body and your body"

This is the first time I heard such an interpretation and it would be helpful if you can elaborate

#48 Anna Stickles

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:42 PM

What happens to us when we partake of the bread? Are we not transformed into the body of Christ? He became man so that we can become God.

Are you implying that the bread in the communion (Eucharist) is not trasformed only in the real body of our Lord Jesus but also it is transformed to some notion of the "Orthodox Church"

You have reversed things. Christ already took on our nature and deified it in his personal body. The Eucharist is transformed by participation in this reality. But this is precisely so that we too, through partaking of the Eucharist may also be transformed. St Paul is not merely allegorizing when he talks about the Church being Christ's body. The Church really is Christ's body. This is a basic reality underlying the Orthodox theology of the deification of man.

And I think this goes back to what Michael was saying about discerning the Body of Christ. Without a right understanding of God's econonmy of salvation and the deification of man, we aren't discerning the Body of Christ. Catholic doctrine does not teach the deification of man - not in a way consistent with the Orthodox understanding.

#49 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:51 PM

Dear Angelos,

I don't think you are seeing Mike's point.

The Eucharist cannot be separated from the faith of the Church. The Body & Blood of Christ (the Eucharist) does not stand above the faith of the Church for it is the sacramental expression of the very life of the Church.

What is being reacted against is a modern sense of the Church which sees the Eucharist as standing above the Church itself and its own Faith. This attitude is radically anti- Patristic (ie against the spirit and point of the Holy Frs concerning the Church) for it sees one aspect of the Church -in this case the Eucharist- outside of the context of the Church itself. Instead it places the Eucharist in a context of general 'acceptance', that it is the Eucharist, that it is the Body of Christ (this is combined also with strong overtones of the Eucharist as a sign of the drawing together of the human community) so that the context of the Eucharist now becomes one of human affirmation rather than the Faith of the Church.

In the Risen Christ- Fr Raphael

#50 Michael Stickles

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 03:12 PM

Are you implying that the bread in the communion (Eucharist) is not trasformed only in the real body of our Lord Jesus but also it is transformed to some notion of the "Orthodox Church" (are there two transformations? - Is Christ even in the Eucharist at all according to this interpretation?).


Not at all - and that's really the point. It does not have to be transformed into "some notion of the Orthodox Church" because it is being transformed, as Fr. Raphael noted, within the context of the Orthodox Church. And that was where I was coming from. The bread is able to become the Body because the transformation occurs within the Body. Were it otherwise, it would be some kind of magical trick instead of a life-giving sacrament. This context is part of what is to be discerned.

For one to participate in Eucharistic communion, without being part of the same faith body as those he or she communes with, is really a contradiction in terms. How can one join together with others as "one body" while holding back and remaining separate in faith? It makes no sense. Hence, why the canons call for those coming from heresies to renounce the heresies they had believed in, and then to learn the faith, and then to be sealed by chrismation; only after all that was the person permitted to join in partaking of the Holy Mysteries.

In Christ,
Michael

#51 Ciero F.

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 04:23 PM

Archbishop Christosoulos of Athens gave my RC friend permission to receive the Holy Mystery of Confession & Communion while living in Greece. So although this is uncommon it does happen. ROCOR Bishop Anthony of San Francisco regularly gave communion to a Uniate friend of mine, and according to an article I read (written by one of the RC orphans involved) St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco regularly gave communion to RC orphans who were with his group in the Philippines.

#52 Kelil

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:57 PM

Sorry for taking so long to come back and address this post. Since then I can see an argument broke out. I am truly sorry for this, and was not my intention, we must always remember that the devil is always the big arguer, and loves to cause disunity. If there is anyone to unite us, it will not be ourselves, but God who will unite us, therefore discussing which church is the true one, could go around in circles for as long as the enemy wishes it to do so, for he does not want unity but would rather see us divided. I feel Ciero F has answered my question, and I feel it important to stay on topic, and to remain united in love.

Thank you for all your responses,

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

#53 Owen Jones

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 04:27 PM

As a purely practical matter, a practical matter which is extremely important, the priest should know something about all the people he is giving communion to. It may not be necessary that the person be up to an absolute standard, or that the priest knows everything about the person via confession etc. But he must at least have a sense that the person is not engaged in truly egregious sin. Which is why I do not presume to receive communion when I am visiting another parish. I do not wish to impose that burden on the priest. I could be totally wrong about this, but it is my own interpretation of the nature of the eucharist, and the potential problem of receiving the eucharist, not just by the person, but for everyone, in that it can actually cause death if it is not received with purity of heart. How can this even be remotely possible, then, if a person from outside our communion entirely presumes he is entitled to receive Orthodox communion? The eucharist is not something I am entitled to, just by virtue of having been chrismated Orthodox. It is an awesome gift but carries with it an awesome responsibility.

#54 Anna Stickles

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 12:59 PM

But he must at least have a sense that the person is not engaged in truly egregious sin. Which is why I do not presume to receive communion when I am visiting another parish. I do not wish to impose that burden on the priest.


I too have thought about this problem. In the case of visitors that come up to partake, do most priests simply assume in this case that it is between the believer and God? We usually contact any parish we are visiting ahead of time with a brief note of what parish we attend and when our last confession was and asking permission to partake. This at least gives the priest the basics.

Has there ever been a practice of receiving a "letter or recommendation" when visiting another parish? I often wonder how this is being handled by different jurisdictions. From some hints in the Bible it seems that Christians who traveled in the first century needed something like this, but maybe that was just in order to teach, not in order to partake of communion.

Although the issue must have arisen as heresies arose and issues over those who had been excluded on account of giving into pagan pressure to sacrifice, etc. People may have not been quite so mobile as today but they did travel. Of course they had much more awe and fear at approaching communion also, I think. We are kind of missing that today in our entitlement culture.

#55 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:28 PM

Anna Stickles wrote:

In the case of visitors that come up to partake, do most priests simply assume in this case that it is between the believer and God? We usually contact any parish we are visiting ahead of time with a brief note of what parish we attend and when our last confession was and asking permission to partake. This at least gives the priest the basics.


What Owen says is quite correct. In my experience, at least here in North America where the numbers are relatively small, the priest always wants to know who is communing. And this is directly related to their spiritual state- how and if they have prepared for communion. Otherwise the priest has no knowledge whether the person is even Orthodox. (as a warning to all; many priests because they have a first 'loyalty' to protect the Cup will directly ask someone in line for communion whom they do not know whether they have been to confession or not- this I have seen here and in Russia).

As to 'letters of recommendation': perhaps for a reader. But usually what is the best is that the person attend the parish on the evening before for Vespers or Vigil and speak with the priest. It is also quite frequent for a visitor to phone the priest beforehand so as to refer to his parish/spiritual situation.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#56 Father David Moser

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:19 PM

In the case of visitors that come up to partake, do most priests simply assume in this case that it is between the believer and God?


I don't know what "most priests" do, however, when such a person who I don't know comes to the chalice in my parish, I simply tell them that I cannot give them communion until I have confessed them, give them a blessing with the chalice and move on to the next person. In the Russian tradition it is expected that a person confess before each communion and in many cases also receive a blessing from their confessor to receive. This expectation makes it very easy for the priest to control who does and does not approach the chalice and if someone unknown does so, then it is an effective non-personal reason for not communing that person at that time. If I have a lot of visitors that I don't know, sometimes I'll make the announcement after the prayer "I believe O Lord and I confess..." that only those who have properly prepared with confession & attendance at vespers the night before, fasting from midnight, and prayer rule should approach. That usually gives people a good clue of what is expected.

Fr David

#57 Jason H.

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 02:56 AM

I encountered this problem when I went to Canada during Holy Week. I wanted to partake of the services but at the same time I didn't want the Priest to think I was either a cathecuman or just sum random person off the streets. So, I first asked my Priest to give me written permission to show proof that I am an Orthodox in good standing and then I contacted the Priest and asked for his blessing that I may recieve at his Church. Since it was Holy Week it ws busy and I went to the Priest whom I contacted so that as I approached and said my name he would know who I was.

Or, one could easily show up before Orthros and talk with the Priest or Deacon who then couldl relay it to the Priest.


Since we are talking about Communion, why is that Russians only kiss the Chalice and not also the Priests hand? Is this something that us Antiochians only do? Also, after Communion, what is with the little cup size things filled with wine and the antidoron. I've never seen that practice done before. I tried to avoid it as I was unfamiliar with it but was assured by the attendant that it was ok.

#58 Dimitris

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:31 AM

Hallo!

Also, after Communion, what is with the little cup size things filled with wine and the antidoron. I've never seen that practice done before. I tried to avoid it as I was unfamiliar with it but was assured by the attendant that it was ok.

You may find the answer here: http://www.monachos....ull=1#post36767

#59 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:01 AM

It is incorrect to kiss the priest's hand after receiving communion. We kiss a priest's hand to take the blessing of his priestly grace from him. On one occasion some time ago, I came out of church at the monastery here not having received communion. I met the abbot, Fr Kyrill, in the garden and went to take his blessing. He hesitated until I explained that I had not had communion, and I then took his blessing. The point, which Russians understand, is that having received communion, we need no other blessing. This ought to be more widely known.

#60 Angelos

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 01:03 PM

I must admit I'm surprised by how "strict" some posters are regarding Orthodox not being able to take communion unless the priest knows them well and/or they confess to the priest first. I grew up in Greece and we went with the (public) school for communion all together and no-one ever asked anyone about their "status". People just gave people the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not saying the strict interpretation is wrong, I'm just saying it is very different from the way I grew up. I always thought it was up to the faithful to examine their heart and decide for themselves whether they are "worthy to receive communion", after all St. Paul states that "whoever takes communion in an unworthy manner brings judgment on themselves" so St. Paul places the responsibility on the faithful not on the priests.




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